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My husband and I were checking out at the store the other day when the cashier told us, “I just had this lady that told me it would be cheaper to eat off the $1 menu every day than buy groceries and I think she is right.” I was friendly and polite with my answer simply saying, “I guess it would depend on what type of groceries you are buying,” but her comment has bothered me ever since.
Why? Because living the fast food life isn’t cheaper. Don’t get me wrong–our family loves indulging in a fast food meal now and again, but if we were to make it our daily diet, I think we would pay for it in more ways than one. We would pay for it financially through the loss of our health, and doctor’s bills are much higher than a fast food burger.
As I was thinking about this I starting thinking about more ways that living a healthy lifestyle can save you money either right away or in the long run.
7 Thrifty Effects of a Healthier Lifestyle
1. Lower Transportation Costs
Getting more physical exercise can yield amazing health benefits including lower blood pressure and smaller waistline. One simple way to fit in more physical activity is to make it a part of your daily life–such as errand running.
Many of us are driving to do errands that are just a mile or two away. By adjusting your schedule for extra time, walking to these places will save money on gas and vehicle upkeep. If you have a bike you can increase the radius of ‘car free’ appointments.
Sure, this isn’t going to work well in bad weather, if you need to cart heavy items home, or have several small children. But there are times when it can work if we would just put a few minutes into planning our day better.
2. Lower Entertainment Costs
Going for a family hike on the local trail is far less money than seeing the latest show on the big screen.
Our own family recently enjoyed the free gardens at a local art center of a city we were visiting and had a great afternoon viewing art for free while getting in a good walk.
3. Eliminates or Decreases The Cost Of Expensive Vises
When you start researching what it takes to be healthy, you might find out that some of your habits are not that healthy. Stopping these habits will save you money too. For example, switching pop for water is one healthy habit switch that will save you a significant amount of money…now if I could just convince my soda loving hubby.
4. Decreases the need for new clothing
One fabulous result of living a healthy lifestyle is that your weight will stop creeping up and may even decrease. When your weight stays the same you have less need to run out and buy new clothing items due to zippers that won’t zip and buttons that no longer button.
5. Your grocery bill goes down
I know there are a lot of people out there that will disagree with me on this point, but I believe a cart full of healthy, unprocessed foods can be less than a cart full of processed foods.
Why do I believe that? Because I have seen it with my own eyes. I observe people all the time who go through the checkout lane before me with a cart just as full as mine but filled with processed food (heavy on the soda, chips, and sugary cereals) and their bill will be significantly higher than mine, which is a cart full of mainly unprocessed food (heavy on fruit and veggies).
6. You Pay Less For Medical Bills
Although I do not think that living healthy is a guarantee that you will live a life free from ALL illnesses, I do know that there is evidence out there that shows those that live healthier lifestyles get fewer colds, viruses, and flus than those who don’t. This means fewer doctor visits and thus less co-pays and prescriptions which can save a family a considerable amount of money over time.
7. You Keep More Of Your Pay
Many people are not blessed with a job that provides them with paid sick days. Living a healthy lifestyle can keep you from being sick as often and thus decrease those days where you lose pay because you were sick.
So How Do You Start Learning How To Live A Healthier Lifestyle?
If you have been a reader of Snail Pace Transformations for a while, you know that the way I start improving in anything in life is to read up on the subject.
Learning how to live a healthier lifestyle is no different…you can learn by reading ..
A great resource for making small changes in your diet towards better eating is the Eat This Not That Series.
A great book in the series to start with is the Eat This Not That Diet, which focuses on healthy swaps instead of counting calories.
For a list of 52 different websites, apps, and stores our thrifty family uses to help us keep our expenses low, click here to visit our Thrifty Tools Resource Page.